We tried to buy Facebook for $24 billion, says former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
In an interview with CNBC on “Squawk Box”, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on Friday said that when he was CEO of Microsoft had offered $24 billion to Mark Zuckerberg to buy Facebook when the company was “itsy-bitsy”.
At the time, Zuckerberg declined the offer, Ballmer said. “I respect that.” He added, “You have to have a willing seller.”
Zuckerberg’s clearly made the right choice by rejected the offer. At present, he has a net worth of $57 billion and Facebook’s market value of around $374 billion. Also, with a net worth of nearly $56 billion, Zuckerberg is the fourth richest person in the world, as of Friday, according to the Forbes. On the other hand, with a net worth of about $28 billion, Ballmer at No. 15 on the billionaire list of Forbes.
Ballmer left Microsoft in 2014 and is now the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers and an investor in Twitter. He was CEO of Microsoft from 2000 to 2014. In 2007, under Ballmer’s reigns, Microsoft paid $240 million for a small 1.6 percent stake in three-and-a-half years old Facebook at a $15 billion valuation.
David Kirkpatrick’s 2010 book ‘The Facebook Effect’ has reported Microsoft’s interest in buying the social media giant.
“Microsoft [would] acquire a small stake in Facebook at a $15 billion valuation,” Kirkpatrick said. “Then, Microsoft would have the option, every six months, to buy another 5 percent of Facebook. A complete takeover of the company would take 5 to 7 years.”
One of the biggest shareholders of Twitter, Ballmer also disclosed that he “never wanted to buy Twitter,” contrary to the speculations that he was interested in making a bid.
“I have never, ever, ever wanted to buy Twitter myself. I got a good life right now. I don’t need to do that. I’m having a lot of fun with the Clips. I’m having a lot of fun with my wife, doing some stuff at the Ballmer Group that we think is fun philanthropically,” he explained.